Tag Archives: province

Rural Municipalities of Saskatchewan

16 May

Rural Municipalities of Saskatchewan

A rural municipality (RM) is a type of incorporated municipality in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The purpose of municipalities is to ensure that services and facilities are made available to maintain safety, and implement the economic, social, and environmental improvements considered necessary and desired by the community at large. A rural municipality is created by the Minister of Municipal Relations by ministerial order via section 49 of The Municipalities Act. The Municipalities Act (MA) oversees the legislation pertaining to rural municipalities as well as towns, villages and resort villages. Northern Municipalities are regulated under The Northern Municipalities Act, and city legislation falls under The Cities Act. That being said, local governments are also cognizant of The Line Fence Act, The Local Government Election Act, The Noxious Weed Act, The Planning and Development Act, The Stray Animals Act, The Tax Enforcement Act as well as other statutes and acts.

“Good leaders value change, they accomplish a desired change that gets the organization and society better.”
~ Anyaele Sam Chiyson

A rural municipality, often abbreviated RM, is a form of municipality in the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, perhaps best comparable to counties or townships in the western United States. Unlike most counties in the United States or Canada, rural municipalities specifically exclude designated official cities, towns, villages, and First Nations Indian reserves from their territory. They are essentially the rural portion of what would normally be a county. In this way, they could perhaps best be compared to certain counties in the state of Virginia, United States, that have independent cities excluded from their territory, although, in Virginia there is usually only one independent city per county, whereas there can be many officially excluded communities in the geographical territory of rural municipalities.

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”
John F. Kennedy


Where a city structure may consist of a mayor and councillor for each ward, a reeve is the local official elected to oversee the discharge duties in relation to the municipality as the chief magistrate. Councillors are members of the municipal legislative body and hold the rank of chief officer for the council representing their district. Councillors are elected to represent the interests and well being of the residents in their division developing, planning and ensuring that policies, programs and services are in place for the municipality. The strength of the policies, bylaws, and decisions made by the council define the direction of the municipality. Council works hand in hand with residents thinking about and identifying the needs of the community from which remarkable actions are able to take shape.

“If you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.”~ Terry Pratchett

The Municipal Ordinance of 1883 was enacted by the North-West Territories to provide services to a rural area and provide some means of municipal governing. Saskatchewan and Alberta became provinces in 1905. North West Territorial Government issues Statute Labour Ordinance (1897) and sets of Fire Districts, Statute Labour and Fire (SLF) Districts or Statute Labour Districts. Community residents could pay taxes or supply a couple days per quarter section labour constructing roads, bridges, fireguards instead of paying taxes. The prairie fires in the 19th century were devastating affairs with flames raging across the wide open plains miles and miles across burning everything in its path. As the Big Beaver Historical Society point out, “in the late 1800;s and early 1900’s, after the buffalo vanished from the prairies, and before it was populated with cattle, there was a tremendous growth of grass on the prairies which made good fuel for fires.” Igniting from the spark of the steam engine along the rail line, lightning, or accident, fires grew to hundreds of miles in length, and burned for weeks on end. In the early pioneering days, it often took a river or a rainy spell to extinguish the tremendous flames. Along with great loss to the region, buildings, “Prairie Wool” (the winter feed needed to feed the livestock) of course also lives of animals and livestock, and the very population, the settler’s lives were endangered. One fire of the early 1900s is the huge prairie fire that began near Swift Current Creek, and carried on to Moose Jaw (a distance of about 177 km or 110 miles). Another fire burned for several days, starting at the east shore of Last Mountain Lake (Long Lake), and carrying on, burned everything around the lake. The lake is about 93 km (58 miles) in length, and 3 km (two miles) in width to show the terrific extent of the blaze. Prairie fires were a menace to the early settlers. A good fire guard was necessary to protect homesteads in an era where there was no means of communicating to the residents of the imminent danger approaching. However even an excellent fire guard sometimes cannot sway the path of the towering inferno. The prairie fire of 1894 began near Silton, soared across Boggy Creek within an hour and soon carried over the Qu’Appelle River, two natural fire guards unable to diminish the course of the blaze. Residents within the Fire Districts came together to plough several furrows at a 45 degree angle to the wind direction hoping to narrow the fire and re-direct the aim of the devastation. Another technique used was to start a small back fire which was very small in size, and could be controlled. The theory was to remove fuel from the uncontrollable blaze thus creating a fire guard with a burned patch of land. If the fire was coming straight on to the home, settlers would drape themselves in water soaked blankets and thus covered up, lay down upon the field till the blaze had passed

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“Safety is not an intellectual exercise to keep us in work. It is a matter of life and death. It is the sum of our contributions to safety management that determines whether the people we work with live or die” ~Sir Brian Appleton after Piper Alpha

The mail route, and post offices were often the early founders of the community followed by churches, schools and stores. The early one room schools became community centres featuring picnics, fairs, and a number of community gatherings. These schools also provided classes to newcomers who wished to learn to speak English.

“Politics isn’t about big money or power games; it’s about the improvement of people’s lives.”
Paul Wellstone


The early years saw immigrant homesteaders arriving who were coming to the “Last Best West” in search of land. After travelling for days aboard a steamer, and arriving at an Eastern Canadian or American port, the journey continued to the rail’s end. These early travellers would then continue by ox and cart, horse and wagon or by foot to locate a surveyor’s stake that defined the land they wished to lay claim to. They would then seek out the nearest provincial land titles agency for application forms. These first settlers were settled sparsely about the rural countryside and needed to erect a shelter and set up housekeeping with those sundry supplies they had brought with them. These early homes were “soddies” homes made from breaking the prairie turf and piling the sod for walls. Roofs were made of timber poles for framework, upon which more sod was laid. Once enough logs were cut, the sod homes were replaced by log houses.


“With all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens,~A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”~Thomas Jefferson

Fire districts were later called Local Improvement Districts (1898), typically called LID, were the precursors of Rural Municipalities. December 13, 1909 saw the beginning of the discontinuance of Local improvement districts in favour of smaller rural municipal areas. LID were instrumental at improving the community, honouring those killed in action with the erection of War Memorial Cairns, establishing a suitable site for cemeteries and seeking adequate health care and the necessary hospital facilities where possible. In the early 1900s it was necessary for the councillors to seek a doctor’s services to traverse the area ministering to the sick. The Spanish Flue epidemic hit communities hard. Many were sick, and anyone who was well, were taking care of those stricken with the illness, making coffins, burying the dead, and doing chores for families fallen to the flu. When the rail line came through, if the rail was laid down outside of town, the settlers came together to move the buildings from the first settlement three or four miles away to be placed astride the new transportation route. Old Nipawin picked up and moved their settlement. Settlers who came to the Parkside area, moved their businesses to Willis, when the rail came through. The movement to the rails caused the name of Willis to adopt the new name of Parkside, and the original Parkside location some four miles south and one mile west of the rails changed its name to Honeywood to avoid confusion.*

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
Benjamin Franklin

One of the first tasks was the construction of roads which took place with horse graders, horse drawn slips and wheel scrapers, replacing prairie trails. Spring floods would defeat previous efforts, washing away the roads laid the summer before. Bridges were erected across steams, and ferry systems established across rivers. These early roads were a slow time consuming construction process up until the mid twentieth century when the provincial government brought into place the grid road system.

“The world is a place of constant change. If we are open and ready to consider everything while remaining unbiased, we will be ready to accept these changes and utilize them to improve our lives.”~Daniel Willey


Typically, an RM consists of about nine townships, each six miles by six miles in area. Settled areas of denser populations could form urban municipalities with a village, town or city governance. Further improvements came to the rural municipalities in the form of consolidated schools replacing the one room schoolhouse, telephone lines came in the early 1900s, electrical power lines were installed in the 1950s, followed by the installation of farm water and sewer. The councillors were required to provide ensure an adequate water supply and improve recreational facilities. Early streets were gravelled, street lights installed, trees planted in parks and in the community, community rinks, ball diamonds, horse race tracks and arenas were typical improvements to the rural areas. Farmers welcomed irrigation which arrived following world war two, an improvement made available by Prairie Farm Assistance, Federal Government grants, and the Saskatchewan Department of Agriculture supplements.

A municipal council consists of seven men
Who solve many problems of what, where and when
They decide how much your taxes will be
What roads will be built, what gravel you’ll see
The budgets allows for only so much
A bit here and there and for such and such.
!Memories and musings : book II Leonard Loppe

Municipal councils are afforded political powers having corporate status incorporated to govern a territory. The rural areas are in need of core infrastructure and essential services including, animal control, building codes, crime prevention, emergency measures organisation, fire prevention, garbage removal, land planning, recreational facilities, and program implementation, roads and transport, snow and ice removal, water and sewer treatment facilities. Council has within its authority the ability to decide if a day or a portion of a day is a civic holiday.
North of the tree line in northern Saskatchewan the large Northern Local Improvement District was replaced by the Department of Northern Saskatchewan in 1972 and was not subdivided into smaller Rural Municipalities.

“The thing is, continuity of strategic direction and continuous improvement in how you do things are absolutely consistent with each other. In fact, they’re mutually reinforcing”.
Michael Porter


Old Post, Saskatchewan is the largest Rural Municipality encompassing 1,757.00 square kilometers in area and it was formed from the last Local Improvement District. Saskatchewan’s largest and smallest rural municipalities in terms of population are the RM of Corman Park No. 344 and the RM of Glen McPherson No. 46 with populations of 8,354 and 73 respectively. There are currently close to 300 rural municipalities serving in Saskatchewan ranging in number from Argyle No. 1 to Beaver River No. 622.

“Improving your life doesn’t have to be about changing everything ~it’s about making changes that count.”
~Oprah Winfrey

Bibliography:
13 ways to kill a community Doug Griffiths. Saskatchewan South East Enterprise Region. 2014 SSEER.

From buffalo grass to wheat : a history of Long Lake district

Shiels, Leonard A.

The golden jubilee of the Nipawin rural municipality, no.487 : 1913-1963
Allan, Gladys Lillian Lamb, Allan, Billie Lamb. Publication information Codete, Saskatchewan: s.n., 1964

Happy Valley happenings : Big Beaver and district

Big Beaver Historical Society

History of Rural Municipality of Excelsior No. 166 : 1910-1967 Charles Lee. Publication information Saskatchewan: R.M. of Excelsior, 1967

List of Rural Municipalities in Saskatchewan

Memories and musings : book II Leonard Loppe. c2002

Municipal Relations Home/About Municipal Relations/Municipal Administration/Elections-General/Understanding the Role, Time Commitment and Powers of Municipal Council Government of Saskatchewan.

Reflections of the Past. History of Parkside and the Districts of Bygland, Cameo, Hilldrop, Honeywood, Ordale and Spruce Glen. Compiled and published by Parkside and District History Book Committee. c1991.page 626.

Municipal Council Member Handbook Government of Saskatchewan Advisory Services and
Municipal Relations Branch. March 2012

Rural Municipality Wikipedia

Rural Municipal Administrators’ Association (RMAA)

The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM)

Urban Municipal Administrators Association of Saskatchewan (UMAAS)

“The direction of your focus is the direction your life will move. Let yourself move toward what is good, valuable, strong and true.”
Ralph Marston


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The purpose of the information on this site is to assist genealogists, historians and other interested parties in locating information regarding Saskatchewan rural muncipalities. Please e-mail saskgenweb@yahoo.com if you have any further updates or additions. Thank you.




To cite this article:

Adamson, Julia. Rural Municipalities of Saskatchewan Name Mergers and Name Changes. . Saskatchewan Gen Web. Rootsweb. Ancestry.com . Retrieved .

E-mail saskgenweb@yahoo.com


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Landmarks and Geophysical Saskatchewan Placenames. Quiz Two.

29 Jun

Loyal and True KISS

Landmarks and Geophysical Saskatchewan Placenames.

This is an additional bit of fun. Following up on the previous Saskatchewan placenames quiz Here is yet another.

In the early days of the northwest plains when Saskatchewan was named Rupert’s Land or the North West Territories, travel followed animal trails on foot, horseback, or ox-drawn Red River cart. Egress was supplemented by bull boat and canoe over rivers and lakes. During these days, there were sparse settlements and no highway signs. Travelers identified their journey by geophysical features. The earliest resting stops, and settlements were generally speaking named after these landmarks.

Quiz Two.

Directions: Complete the quiz by identifying a Saskatchewan placename that best fits each clue.

1. Algae, Water basin.

2. Sight, Summit.

3. Grand earth.

4. Rapid, Waves.

5. Expansive panorama.

6. A bend or half turn.

7. Gigantic, Watercourse.

8. Colour, Meadow.

9. Diminutive Mountains.

10. Colour, Soil.

Give your hand at these crossword type puzzlers, and the answers will be published with the next entry! In taking time to do a fun and relaxing puzzle such as this one, not only does it stimulate the brain cells, but it also helps identify great resources in the way of finding out the names of Saskatchewan’s several placenames.

The geophysical features of Saskatchewan change between the grasslands, the aspen parkland and north of the tree line. Each biome has its own distinct water features, steppe, and hilly areas which were noted by early travelers as navigational aids. These changed slowly in the course of geological evolution, and were very reliable markers.

Following the fur trade era, the ecosystem was still invaluable to agricultural entrepreneurs. Settlers heeding Clifford Sifton‘s immigration call to the “Last Best West” would settle in areas where the soil types were similar to their home land. The agricultural methods and implements brought over on the long journey then met with success. A homesteader could fill out an Application for Entry for a Homestead, a Pre-emption or a Purchased Homestead. If the land was unsuitable the pioneer could file a Declaration of Abandonment with the provincial land titles office. Not only immigration settlers used the terrain and soil type to select a site, but aboriginal peoples would choose a reserve site similarly when signing a First Nations Treaty. Land agents traversing the plains by train would also check out the earth type which may be suitable to sell to large numbers of prospective clients.

Try to uncover the names of these Saskatchewan’s places. It may be helpful to use the Search Saskatchewan Placenames web page or perhaps one of the several map indexes at the Online Historical Map Digitization Project. Other resources would include the Saskatchewan One Room School House Project, or a reference chosen from the general Map Resources. Any number of atlases, gazetteers, census, or books may also be of assistance offering up some clues to these puzzlers.

Saskatchewan’s naming patterns are intriguing and convoluted, and to make matters easier Natural Resources Canada has published several helpful web pages amongst them Geographical Names. Try your hand at traveling via your arm chair discovering the various features of Saskatchewan’s landscape as did the forefather’s of this province. In this way discover a bit more of the surroundings for the early Coeur de Bois, First Nation and fur trading traveler.

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For more information:

•Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse Project

•Online Historical Map Digitization Project

•Search Saskatchewan Placenames

•How do I locate my Ancestors Home Town in Saskatchewan?

•Maybe the Ghosts Will Live Again
Saskatchewan Ghost Towns…

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Related Posts:

•The Value of Standardizing Placenames for Genealogists. First Quiz Answers.

•Test Your Knowledge of Saskatchewan’s Placenames. First Quiz.

•What can be found at the NEW Saskatchewan Provincial Archives website?

•The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

•Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

•Love and Marriage in Saskatchewan- a comprehensive guide

•How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

•Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

•How to locate birth, marriage and death certificates in Saskatchewan, Canada

•Are there genealogy sites that can compete with Ancestry.com?

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Test Your Knowledge of Saskatchewan Placenames

7 Jun

Graceful Delight

This will be just a bit of fun. Genealogists start with what is known and work towards the unknown uncovering facts related to dates, places and people (names). Try to uncover the names of these Saskatchewan places. It may be helpful to use the Search Saskatchewan Placenames web page or perhaps one of the several map indexes at Online Historical Map Digitization Project. Other resources would include the Saskatchewan One Room School House Project, or a reference chosen from the general Map Resources. Any number of atlases, gazetteers, census, or books may also be of assistance offering up some clues to these puzzlers.

1. The name of a bush.

2. The name of a berry.

3. A male duck.

4. A good luck symbol.

5. To attempt.

6. An historic Canadian Prime Minister.

7. Woodworker.

8. Parliamentary assembly.

9. Heavenly, Bluff.

10. Coffee.

Give your hand at these crossword type puzzlers, and the answers will be published with the next entry! In taking time to do a fun and relaxing puzzle such as this one, not only does it stimulate the brain cells, but it also helps identify great resources in the way of finding out the names of Saskatchewan’s several placenames.

Saskatchewan is not divided neatly into counties nor parishes which are re-used for many and several divisions. Rather each separate entity, agency and newly formed group devises their own areas, regions and districts of Saskatchewan for their own purposes. Saskatchewan has rural municipalities which are the rural government regions providing similar civic responsibilities to large rural areas via reeves and councilors rather than mayor and aldermen. Then the province was also historically divided into school districts and school inspector districts which have given way to contemporary schools and school divisions again following new boundaries and regions. Starting again, every separate entity whether they are religions, health regions, genealogy or historical societies defines their own branches and areas. By accumulating clues to this puzzle, the given resources above may be used, or it may be a new here-to-fore resource comes forward to divulge the answer to the quest, which may also be the source needed on the genealogical journey in Saskatchewan.

While researching in Saskatchewan note that historically places were generally six miles apart which would be a good horseback ride in the early settlement of the north west. The early 1900s, which was about the same time Saskatchewan became a province, was a time of great growth as railways competed to lay rail across the prairies. Towns, sidings, and post offices sprang up like wildfire. The depression years of the 1930s initiated a trend away from the abandoned drought ridden farms to the city in search of employment. It was after World War II when automotive transport combined with new and improved straightened asphalt highways made egress across the vast province much easier. Gone were the oil surface highways “built on the square“. The ease of travel continued the trend of population shifting away from the smaller settlements towards the urban centers.

Historically there were about 3,000 seperate placenames, over 5,000 individual school district names, approximately 600 rural municipalities and these numbers are not inclusive of geographical feature names, federal electoral or provincial electoral districts. A genealogical baptismal record, letter of correspondence or birth certificate may indeed have recorded upon it a name no longer listed on contemporary maps. Following the standardization by Canada Post of placenames across the nation, duplicate naming was virtually eliminated. Places with a similar name elsewhere were asked to change their names. Placenames in Saskatchewan may have, indeed, undergone a name change for a plethora of reasons.

Saskatchewan’s naming patterns are intriguing and convoluted, and to make matters easier on this front, it is wonderful that there are resources online and in print presenting this etymological history in various lists, books, gazetteers, and websites.

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For more information:

•Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse Project

•Online Historical Map Digitization Project

•Search Saskatchewan Placenames

•How do I locate my Ancestors Home Town in Saskatchewan?

•Maybe the Ghosts Will Live Again
Saskatchewan Ghost Towns…

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Related Posts:

•What can be found at the NEW Saskatchewan Provincial Archives website?

•The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

•Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

•Love and Marriage in Saskatchewan- a comprehensive guide

•How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

•Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

•How to locate birth, marriage and death certificates in Saskatchewan, Canada

•Are there genealogy sites that can compete with Ancestry.com?

________________________________________________________________________________________

Follow me on Word Press, Blogger, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Tumblr, Live Journal, Sask Gen Web Ancestry.com and Flickriver

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Aum_Kleem - View my most interesting photos on Flickriver

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Saskatchewan and the Emerald Isle

28 Mar

Spring's Sweet Cantata

The ethnoculture identity of the Irish Saskatchewanian is a cherished part of the province of Saskatchewan. The Irish expression in the province encompasses settlers from the early 1900s, as well as Saskatchewan commmunities with Irish naming. No history of the Irish in Saskatchewan is complete without paying tribute to those notable Irish pioneers who have contributed to the growth of Saskatchewan as a province. More recently, history is repeating itself with a push to introduce a new Irish immigration settlement wave to Saskatchewan.

In 1911, the Irish comprised about 12.2 per cent of the population in the province of Saskatchewan. According to Michael Cottrell, “the Irish nevertheless possessed certain advantages Early arrival, white skin, Christian adherence, proficiency in the English language, familiarity with the democratic process, and the ability to exploit a wide range of economic opportunities all presaged success.” On the 2001 census, 8 per cent of the Saskatchewan population claimed Irish origin, and over 90 per cent declared Irish ancestry.

The first wave of Irish immigration to Canada was between 1800 and 1840 before the Irish famine, and many of these Irish pioneers settled in eastern Canada. The Ontario Irish settling in the Ottawa valley during the great migration of the Irish famine 1843-1849) again migrated in response to homestead opportunities in Saskatchewan between 1900-1912 After the 1840s to 1920 Irish settlement in North America was mainly in the United States.

Sinnett was home to an Irish Ethnic Settlement bloc founded by Father John Sinnett who brought Irish settlers from both Eastern Canada and Ireland. Sinnett is currently classified as an unincorporated area within the Rural Municipality of Leroy No. 339. According to Bill Barry, St. Ignatius Church, Loyola School district No. 1910, McGuire Post office, and the Tipperary telephone company were all within this “Irish Colony.”

The the Rural Municipality of Shamrock No. 134 was home to several Irish settlers of the Maypole district and also the historical one room school house Erinvale School District 327.

Zenon Pohorecky also reported in his book Saskatchewan people:
a brief illustrated guide to their ethnocultures
that in the early 1900s Marengo, Sturgis, Scott, Simpson, Wilkie, and Young also saw Irish migrants.

The communities of Connaught, D’Arcy, Davin, Enniskillen district, Erinferry, Limerick,Meath Park, McGee, Shaunavon, and Wynyard all have names of Irish origin, or honour notable Irishmen. These communities, however, were not known as large Irish ethnic bloc settlements.

These notable people hail from the Emerald Isle and have had an impact on the development of Saskatchewan and its transformation.

Captain John Palliser (January 29, 1817 – August 18, 1887) was born in Dublin, Ireland, and is noted for his explorations of the North West Territories in 1857 and 1867. His reports identified a belt of fertile land bordering on an area of semi-arid land which he claimed was an extension of the American desert “which can never be expected to become occupied by settlers.” This portion of the prairies is now termed the Palliser Triangle.

William Francis Butler (1838–1910) an Irishman out of Ballystateen, Golden, Co. Tipperary is renowned for his exploration between Quebec and the Rocky mountains undertaken in 1870-1871. Butler’s recommendations to establish a mobile police force in the area were followed up on. In the spring of 1873, the North-West Mounted Police were established. He reached the Pacific Ocean on his second journey across North America in 1873. The Great Lone Land, The Wild North Land and the adventure tale Red cloud;the solitary Sioux (Néall dearg) describe his treks.

Nicholas Flood Davin (January 13, 1840 – October 18, 1901) born at Kilfinane, Ireland is known for establishing the first newspaper (1883) in the Assiniboine Provisional district, North-West Territories, the Regina Leader. As well, he authored the book The Irishman in Canada (1877). Davin, a captivating orator also proposed that the NWT should receive provincial status.

Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton (c.1850–1931) born to Irish parentage was an international traveler and merchants. In 1904 his travels brought him to Lipton, Saskatchewan setting up a company town. Lipton, owner of ranches, and packing plants across America, plantations in Ceylon and India is known for establishing a chain of grocery stores and printing presses for advertising which were the forerunners of the famous “The Lipton Tea Company bringing tea “direct from the tea gardens to the tea pot” to everyone.

Dr. Maurice Macdonald Seymour M.D., C. M., D. P. H., (July 7, 1857 – January 6, 1929), of Irish ancestry established the Saskatchewan Medical Association, the Anti-Tuberculosis League and the sanitorium at Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan.

Premier Brad Wall and Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration Minister Rob Norris traveled to Ireland in March of 2012 recruiting Irish workers as part a Saskatchewan immigration policy. “We look forward to telling our story in Ireland. Immigration is helping sustain our economic momentum and enriching our cultural diversity,” Wall stated.

“The great famine of 1843-1849 forced many to flee Ireland, and now 500 emigrants leave the Emerald Isle every week due to a dire economy. Norris said “we welcome these newcomers to discover the Saskatchewan advantage.”

An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
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For more information:

Saskatchewan Gen Web Project SGW – Irish Saskatchewan Genealogy roots

Couglin, Jack. “The Irish colony of Saskatchewan”.
Lochleven Publishers. 1995. Scarborough, Canada. ISBN 0969930003.

Shamrock History Book Society. “Harvest of memories: R.M. 134 and Shamrock“. Shamrock History Book Society. 1990. ISBN 0919781519, 9780919781511.

Quinn, James (November 2009). Chapter Butler, William Francis. d’Alton, Ian (November 2009). Chapter Lipton, Sir Thomas Johnstone.The Dictionary of Irish Biography“. In James McGuire and James Quinn (digitised online). Cambridge University Press and the Royal Irish Academy. Cambridge University Press. ISBN:9780521633314. Retrieved 2012/03/27.

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Bibliography:

Cottrrell, Michael (2004). “Encyclopedia of the Great Plains“. In David J. Wishart. digisited online by google books. U of Nebraska Press. p. 236,237. Retrieved 2012/03/27.

Government of Saskatchewan Supports Labour Recruitment Mission to Ierland“. Government of Saskatchewan. February 6, 2012.

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Related Posts:

Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

When were Saskatchewan homestead applications available?

Where were Saskatchewan homesteads located?

What can be found at the NEW Saskatchewan Provincial Archives website?

The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

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All rights reserved. Copyright © Aum Kleem All my images and text are protected under international authors copyright laws and Canadian photography laws and may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without my written explicit permission. They may be licensed through Getty images. .. Peace and love be with you.
Namaste.

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Maybe the Ghosts Will Live Again!

25 Feb

Second Spring

Maybe the Ghosts Will Live Again!

Try out Saskatchewan‘s newest Sunday afternoon tourism trend. Discover a part of Saskatchewan’s history and seek out an abandoned ghost town. Walk down main street of our pioneer’s community and imagine what life was like a century ago.

Why did the settlers arrive to settle here in this particular location? What was the community like, and how large did it get? How many children attended the one room school house, and how far did they travel? Did the community main street once boast a store, church, hotel and elevator? What were the stories behind the communities who are only remembered by their cemeteries? Were there once barn dances and Christmas socials at the schoolhouse? What occurred to cause the abandonment of the buildings at this site? What are the real life stories behind the ghost towns?

According to the Saskatchewan Atlas edited by J.H. Richards and K.I. Fung, they used the terms unincorporated hamlets and settlements in Saskatchewan. A settlement may disperse over a greater area than a hamlet, and a locality may refer to a settlement without post office or community.

Whereas, the Atlas of Saskatchewan Celebrating the Millenium Edition defines various unincorporated places in Saskatchewan. A hamlet has a population less than 100 persons, a locality has less than ten residents. A post office is defined by a rural post office site, and a railway point may be a siding or a junction along a rail line. An organised hamlet also has a population less than 100, however would have a chairman, members, and advisors who act for the community in a similar capacity to the role of a mayor or councillor in a city but on a smaller scale. A resort village is also served by a mayor, councillor and administrator similar to a town or village.

Both books define a locality as former communities which may only exist in historical documents, post cards, maps or the designated place, and these placenames were enumerated during census years as a part of the Rural Municipality (RM) rather than as an individual entity or locality.

A locality, or designated place without residents but with visible remains of civilization may, in fact, fit a definition of a “ghost town. Wikipedia goes further, “A ghost town is a town that has been abandoned, usually because the economic activity that supported it has failed or because of natural or human-caused disasters such as war.”

In Saskatchewan a community reaches city status with a population over 5,000; may incorporate as a town with a population over 500, and reaches town status with a population over 100.

Along the highways and roadsides of Saskatchewan still stand deserted homes, schools, businesses and churches of communities once bustling with hope and optimism of new dryland agriculture methods. The depression years coupled with the great drought of the dirty thirties saw a huge exodus from the rural settlements searching for economic prosperity in the cities. Especially hard hit was the area of Saskatchewan defined as the Palliser Triangle consisting of areas of badlands, sand dunes and semi-arid soil, and it is here that a span of highway has the moniker now of Ghost Town Trail, Saskatchewan.

Along with the abandoned buildings are the tales of ghosts, haunting figures and eerie sounds. One of the more famous tales in Saskatchewan is of the ghost train traveling near St. Louis, Saskatchewan. A devastating train derailment occurred as well as a fatal accident which laid claim to a pioneering family.

The textures and character of the abandoned buildings have spawned a cult of photographers roaming the countryside to historic ghost towns. The techniques vary from capturing the perfect sunset or sunrise shot, capturing a ghost town at night with innovative light painting techniques or perhaps a ghost town capture offers an opportunity to use high dynamic range HDR photography. Some photography excursions seek out a focal point such as an historic pool elevator, a heritage train station or rusty car in a cloudy summer landscape, a colourful autumn scene or a seasonal winter setting.

Defined perhaps as Saskatchewan’s current tourism craze, the Saskatchewan Heritage and Folklore Society SHFS, brings history to life. Plaques and points of interest demark heritage stories, historic searches for diamonds and rubies, or may regale how pioneers would move a whole village to be on the tracks if the railway did not go through town. In the roaring twenties Saskatchewan was at its height in terms of population rise. These horse and buggy days saw numerous settlements spring up approximately every five miles alongside the newly laid rail lines.

Besides creative commons sources such as Wikipedia, books have been published about this new tourism attraction of Saskatchewan Ghost Towns in Saskatchewan, Including: Armley, Saskatchewan, Cactus Lake, Saskatchewan, Island Falls, Saskatchewan, Zichydorf, Saskatchewan, the Fren, Ghost Town Stories of the Red Coat Trail: From Renegade to Ruin on the Canadian Prairies , Canada Ghost Town Introduction: Govenlock, Saskatchewan, List of Ghost Towns in Alberta, Lucky Strike, Alberta, Hallonquist, Saskatchewan , Ghost Towns in Saskatchewan: The French Counts of St Hubert, Saskatchewan, Ghost Stories of Saskatchewan , and More Ghost Stories of Saskatchewan . Films, for example Ghost Town Trail, Saskatchewan and documentaries on television have aired.

You may want to join this trend, popping out for a coffee on a lazy Sunday afternoon, traveling down a little used grid road to uncover a bit of Saskatchewan history. Program your GPS, look up a historical map of Saskatchewan, get the lay of the land, and head out. If you find an abandoned building do not trespass or venture forth inside a decaying building. Explore from a safe vantage point from public lands.

Saskatchewan ghost towns, a book researched by Kan Do Wheels and is now online to “tell why a community was born, lived and died”. Frank Moore, the author states that “people are returning to some of these towns and buying salvagable buildings…People are coming to realize the slick, future-shocked city life can’t meet their needs. And so they are looking for an alternative – a place where they can enjoy a sense of community, take charge of their lives, and know harmony with their environment.”

And to echo Moore, “Maybe the ghosts will live again!”
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For more information:

Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouse Project

Online Historical Map Digitization Project

Search Saskatchewan Placenames

How do I locate my Ancestors Home Town in Saskatchewan?

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Related Posts:

What can be found at the NEW Saskatchewan Provincial Archives website?

The Era of Saskatchewan One Room Schoolhouses

Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

•Love and Marriage in Saskatchewan- a comprehensive guide

How did pioneers travel to their prairie homesteads?

Why were Canadian “Last Best West” homesteads created?

•How to locate birth, marriage and death certificates in Saskatchewan, Canada

Are there genealogy sites that can compete with Ancestry.com?

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“A man who is not afraid is not aggressive, a man who has no sense of fear of any kind is really a free, a peaceful man.” Jiddu Krishnamurti. All rights reserved. Copyright © Aum Kleem All my images are protected under Canadian and international authors copyright laws and may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without my written explicit permission. Image: Second spring“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ~ Albert Camus The images may, in fact, be licensed through Getty images. Peace and love be with you. Namaste.

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